Vulnerability, conditional cash transfer and women's autonomy

José Eustáquio Diniz Alves, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE)
Suzana M. Cavenaghi, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE)
Lena Lavinas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ

The Bolsa Familia Program (conditional cash transfer program) in Brazil is recognized as one of the biggest and more successful social programs that decreases extreme poverty. In the program, women are identified as the main legal beneficiary on the grounds that they might take better advantages of the benefit for the whole family. We argue that among poor families, the presence of a spouse at home combined with other factors such as labor market participation, and school enrolment of all children aged 14 years or less are even more important characteristics that may contribute to better life conditions. The aim of this paper is to compare families that receive and do not receive Bolsa Familia benefits controlling for family and social dynamics in order to discuss about the effectiveness of the program in improving life conditions and women’s autonomy.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Contexts